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Christy Gilliam

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ministryinfo@nnu.edu

Youth, Children and Family Ministry
Master of Divinity
Ready to make a difference in youth, children and families? NNU’s fully online Master of Divinity (M.Div.) in Youth, Children and Family Ministry offers a chance to deepen your faith, expand your knowledge, and prepare for a fulfilling ministry career. Our master’s degree in ministry equips you for success in parachurch ministry, Christian schools or camps, providing the skills and experience to impact your community and beyond.
Graduate students investing in ministry preparation graduate programs complete courses on church leadership, pastoral counseling, Christian faith integration and the arts in Christian ministry.
  • 75-SEMESTER CREDITS for degree completion
  • ENTIRELY ONLINE courses with supportive, professional instructors and faculty
  • MEETS ALL EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene
  • FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID and NNU’s zero-interest monthly payment plan are available to all who qualify

Embrace Your Calling with a Master’s Degree in Ministry

Unlock your potential and embrace your calling with a master’s degree in youth, children and family ministry from NNU. Our 75-credit graduate specialization provides a more holistic approach to ministry across the generations. Whether in a vocational ministry role or seeking advanced training for parachurch, Christian schools or camp ministries, our fully online Master of Divinity specialization offers a dynamic learning model grounded in developmental, cultural and spiritual formation within a practical theological framework. Your calling is unique, and we are committed to helping you achieve your goals with the highest quality education.

degree details

Master of Divinity

Online

$575 per credit, $150 per semester technology fee

Benefits of Our Master’s Degree in Youth, Children and Family Ministry

  • Complete your degree in as little as two years while balancing other life responsibilities
  • Deepen your understanding of ministry and developmentally grounded practices for Christian formation
  • Get ministry-ready with our 75-semester credits of graduate-level coursework
  • Complete your master’s degree online for your convenience and flexibility
  • Qualify for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene and other denominations
  • Receive personalized support from our experienced faculty to succeed in your studies and beyond
  • Access financial aid and flexible payment plan options to make higher education more accessible
  • NNU’s Graduate School of Theology is accredited by The Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools
  • NNU has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities since 1930

Goals and Outcomes for Our Master of Divinity Degree

  • Understand and explain Wesleyan-Holiness theology concerning scripture, Christian tradition, reason and ministry practice
  • Identify characteristics of the cultural context of ministry and assess them through an appropriate theological perspective
  • Practice spiritual disciplines for emotional and spiritual health, personal Christian virtue and responsible social engagement
  • Integrate Christian theological themes in the understanding and practice of ministry and leadership
  • Understand both the history and contemporary characteristics of human development, adolescence and family systems theory
  • Value the role of Practical Theology in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition and philosophy to inform practices fostering young persons and families
  • Articulate and embody a biblical understanding of faith formation within the community of faith, including the family
  • Demonstrate a dynamic integration of practice and philosophy of leadership suitable for ministry in the Church and the world

Additional Information About the Master of Divinity in Youth, Children and Family Ministry

Program Information

Are you called to serve the younger generations within the Church? Do you feel a personal obligation to foster spiritual growth in children or youth? Consider the Master of Divinity in Youth, Children and Family Ministry from Northwest Nazarene University for an advanced journey into ministry across generations. With this 75-credit graduate specialization in Christian ministry courses, you can become equipped with the essential knowledge to serve those around you effectively.

This fully online program is designed to take your skills beyond theory and give practical applications through a framework grounded in spiritual, developmental, cultural and theological formation. This program offers a unique insight for those called upon for vocational ministry opportunities, such as a youth or children’s pastor, or even those looking to provide comprehensive training in parachurch ministries, Christian schools or camp ministries.

At NNU, we understand that learning doesn’t just take place through textbooks alone. Our dynamic approach to educational excellence blends traditional methods with modern teaching concepts so every student can gain the most out of their experience. You’ll develop meaningful relationships while pushing yourself to grow both spiritually and professionally with fundamental ministry tools.

Discover what it means to truly serve and lead by enrolling in the Master of Divinity specialization in Youth, Children & Family Ministry from Northwest Nazarene University today!

Dual Accreditation

NNU’s Graduate School of Theology is accredited by The Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools. The following degree programs are approved by The Commission on Accrediting: Master of Divinity; Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry; Master of Arts in Leadership & Formation with specializations in Missional Leadership; Spiritual Formation; Youth, Children & Family Ministry.

Since 1930, NNU has been continuously accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities, the same respected accrediting body that validates other leading educational institutions across the Pacific Northwest.

Our master's program in youth, children and family ministry is for pastors, ministry leaders and the lay ministry of the local church.

Master of Divinity Graduates Career Paths

With diverse career paths such as family ministry, youth or children’s pastor, or layperson opportunities in parachurch, Christian schools or camp ministries, the options are endless. Embark on a fulfilling and rewarding journey with NNU’s online Master of Divinity specialization in Youth, Children and Family Ministry.

Executive Pastor

Christian School Principal

Meet Our Faculty

As I began this education, all I knew was that God was calling me to deeper levels of ministry, and I was to “study and prepare myself.” NNU has gone above and beyond my idea of being fully equipped for every good work God might call me to accomplish in His Name.

Kalyn Vogelmann

Master of Divinity in Missional Leadership

Frequently Asked Questions About the Youth, Children and Family Ministry

Grow your calling at Northwest Nazarene University with a master’s degree in ministry, specializing in youth, children and family ministry. Explore the following commonly asked questions to learn more about our Christian ministry program.

How are the theological principles of pastoral care applied to youth, children and family ministry?

At Northwest Nazarene University, the theological principles of pastoral care are thoughtfully applied to youth, children and family ministry, creating a transformative and nurturing environment for young individuals and their families. Our master’s in youth, children and family ministry program equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage with these critical areas of ministry.

To effectively serve in youth, children and family ministry, it is essential to understand the history and contemporary characteristics of human development, adolescence and family systems theory. This knowledge provides a solid foundation for engaging with young individuals and their families, allowing for a holistic spiritual and emotional development approach.

Our program emphasizes the value of Practical Theology in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition and philosophy. By integrating these principles into ministry practices, our graduates are equipped to nurture and support young persons and families in their faith journeys. They learn to articulate and embody a biblical understanding of faith formation within the community of faith, recognizing the vital role that families play in this process.

At NNU, we believe in fostering community and collaboration within our youth, children and family ministry programs. Through coursework, mentorship and practical experiences, students can engage with various ministry models and learn from experienced faculty passionate about guiding and empowering them.

By choosing NNU’s master’s in youth, children and family ministry degree, you will gain the necessary theological foundations, practical skills and a deep understanding of the importance of pastoral care in ministering to young individuals and families. Join us as we prepare you to make a lasting impact in the lives of youth, children and families and contribute to the flourishing community of faith.

What unique challenges come with ministering to youth, children and families in different contexts?

Ministering to youth, children and families is a deeply rewarding calling, but it also comes with unique challenges, mainly when operating in different contexts. At Northwest Nazarene University, we understand the complexities involved in this vital ministry, and our master’s in youth, children and family ministry program equips you to navigate these challenges with wisdom and grace.

One of the challenges that ministers face when working with youth and children is engaging parents and encouraging their involvement in ministry. Building strong partnerships with parents is crucial for effective ministry, and our program equips you with strategies to foster meaningful connections, bridging the gap between church and home. We believe that ministry should be a collaborative effort involving families as active participants in nurturing the faith formation of their children.

Another challenge is addressing the diverse needs and circumstances of youth, children and families in different contexts. Each context presents unique dynamics, whether a small or declining church, multicultural communities, post-pandemic challenges or the shifting nature of ministry. Our Christian ministry degree prepares you to adapt and respond effectively by comprehensively understanding human development, family systems theory and practical theology. This knowledge equips you to provide relevant and transformative ministry in various settings.

Ministering to youth, children and families requires sensitivity to these age groups’ changing needs and experiences. Children’s ministries’ challenges include volunteer recruitment, shallow faith and equipping parents to disciple their children. Our program addresses these challenges by supplying practical strategies and innovative approaches to foster deep and lasting faith formation in young hearts.

By pursuing a master’s in youth, children and family ministry at NNU, you will gain the knowledge, skills and insights needed to overcome these unique challenges. Our program empowers you to transform lives, nurture families and create thriving communities of faith.

How does the Master of Divinity in Youth, Children and Family Ministry equip students for their calling?

Northwest Nazarene University’s Graduate School offers the transformative Master of Divinity in Youth, Children, and Family Ministry program that equips students for their unique calling to minister to youth, children and families. Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in theology, biblical studies, ministry skills and specialized courses in youth, children and family ministry, allowing them to effectively serve in ministry roles focused on these essential areas of ministry.

Through our program, students gain a deep understanding and appreciation for Wesleyan-Holiness theology, which forms the core of our educational approach. This theological framework provides a solid foundation for students to navigate the complexities of ministry in a rapidly changing world. It enables them to assess the cultural context of ministry, ensuring they can engage meaningfully with youth, children and families in diverse settings.

We believe in the importance of spiritual formation and the cultivation of personal faith. Our program offers opportunities for students to develop spiritual disciplines and integrate Christian theological themes into their ministry and leadership practices. This holistic approach ensures students possess the necessary knowledge and skills and demonstrate a deep spiritual commitment to their calling.

Practical ministry experience is a vital component of our program. Students can apply their learning in real-world contexts, gaining hands-on experience and refining their skills under experienced mentors and faculty members. This practical training enhances their ability to minister effectively to youth, children and families, addressing their unique needs and fostering a transformative impact.

Upon graduation, our students have the comprehensive skills and knowledge necessary for successful ministry. They understand human development and family systems theory, enabling them to engage with individuals and families at different stages of life. They value practical theology, recognizing the importance of integrating theory and practice in their ministry efforts. Our graduates can articulate a biblical understanding of faith formation, empowering them to nurture the spiritual growth of youth, children and families. Furthermore, they are prepared to demonstrate leadership suitable for ministry within the Church and the broader world.

Join us at Northwest Nazarene University’s Graduate School of Theology and embark on a transformative journey that will equip you to make a lasting impact as you answer your calling to serve youth, children, and families.

How can a master's degree in ministry help me in my ministry role now and in the future?

Northwest Nazarene University’s fully online Master of Divinity specialization in Youth, Children and Family Ministry equips you with the knowledge, skills and practical training necessary to excel in your ministry role both now and in the future.

Whether you serve as a family ministry, youth or children’s pastor or have aspirations for parachurch, Christian schools or camp ministries, our master’s degree program is designed to meet your unique needs. We offer a dynamic learning model that combines academic excellence with a focus on developmental, cultural and spiritual formation within a practical theological framework.

By pursuing a Christian ministry degree online at NNU, you will sharpen your skills and deepen your understanding of ministry practices in the local church. Our curriculum encompasses various subjects, including biblical and theological studies, Church history and practical ministry approaches. You’ll learn to effectively communicate and apply scripture, nurture others in their faith journey and lead with wisdom and compassion.

One of the significant advantages of pursuing an online ministry degree is the opportunity to gain field ministry experiences that bridge the gap between theory and practice. These hands-on experiences allow you to connect with theology, engage with real-life ministry challenges and develop practical strategies for ministering to youth, children and families.

Moreover, a Christian ministry master’s degree demonstrates your commitment to professional growth and ongoing development in your ministry role. It enhances your credibility and opens doors to new opportunities for leadership and influence within the church and beyond. Adventurous applicants can explore overseas opportunities, such as summer programs or exchange initiatives, further expanding their ministry horizons.

At NNU, we believe investing in a master’s degree in ministry is about acquiring knowledge and experiencing personal transformation. Our program fosters deep spiritual formation and encourages a holistic approach to ministry, empowering you to make a lasting impact on the lives of youth, children and families.

Prepare yourself for a future of effective ministry by pursuing a Master of Divinity specializing in Youth, Children and Family Ministry at Northwest Nazarene University. Join a community of passionate individuals dedicated to nurturing the next generation and transforming communities for Christ.